Endurance (Mk 13:13-13:13)

“You will be hated

By all,

Because of my name.

But the one

Who endures

To the end

Will be saved.”

 

καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου· ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:22, and in Luke, chapter 21:19, but in a more succinct way.  Mark indicated that endurance was important.  Jesus said that they would be hated (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all people (ὑπὸ πάντων) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  Then he said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται).

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The sleeping apostles (Mt 26:40-26:41)

“Then Jesus came

To the disciples.

He found them sleeping.

He said to Peter.

‘So!

Could you not

Stay awake

With me

One hour?

Stay awake!

Pray

That you may not come

Into the time

Of temptation!

The spirit indeed

Is willing,

But the flesh

Is weak.’”

 

καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς καὶ εὑρίσκει αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας, καὶ λέγει τῷ Πέτρῳ Οὕτως οὐκ ἰσχύσατε μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι μετ’ ἐμοῦ;

γρηγορεῖτε καὶ προσεύχεσθε, ἵνα μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς πειρασμόν· τὸ μὲν πνεῦμα πρόθυμον, ἡ δὲ σὰρξ ἀσθενής.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:37-38, but Mark calls Peter Simon.  Luke, chapter 22:45-46, is somewhat similar, but without the last phrase, while in John, chapter 22, there are no indications of this action in the garden.  Both Mark and Matthew recounted that Jesus came to the 3 special disciples (καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς), where he found them sleeping (καὶ εὑρίσκει αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας).  Then he complained to Peter (καὶ λέγει τῷ Πέτρῳ) that he could not even stay awake or watch with him for merely one hour (Οὕτως οὐκ ἰσχύσατε μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  He told him and the other 2 disciples to stay awake, watch, and be vigilant (γρηγορεῖτε).  They should pray (καὶ προσεύχεσθε) that their time of temptation or trial did not come (ἵνα μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς πειρασμόν).  Then Jesus remarked that the spirit indeed was willing (τὸ μὲν πνεῦμα πρόθυμον), but the flesh was weak (ἡ δὲ σὰρξ ἀσθενής).  Jesus was reprimanding Peter and the other 2 disciples in a mild but firm way.  They needed to be vigilant.

The disputes and the resistance (Dan 11:32-11:35)

“He shall seduce,

With flattery,

Those who violate

The covenant.

But the people

Who are loyal

To their God

Shall stand firm.

They shall take action.

The wise among the people

Shall give understanding

To many.

For some days,

However,

They shall fall

By the sword,

By the flame.

They shall suffer

Captivity,

As well as plunder.

When they fall victim,

They shall receive

A little help.

Many shall join

Them insincerely.

Some of the wise

Shall fall.

Thus,

They may be

Refined,

Purified,

Cleansed,

Until the time

Of the end.

There is still an interval

Until the time appointed.

As indicated in 1 Maccabees, chapter 2, King Antiochus IV seduced some of the Hellenizing Judeans to abandon the covenant. However, there were many who remained loyal to their God. They stood firm and sided with the wise ones of Jerusalem. However, they also fell by the sword and the flames. They suffered captivity and plunder, but they received a little help. Some of these people were insincere. Even some of the wise ones fell, so that they could be refined, purified, and cleansed until the end times. Nevertheless, there was going to be an interval until this appointed time came.

Forgiveness for all (Isa 33:23-33:24)

“Your riggings hangs loose.

It cannot hold the mast firm in its place.

It cannot keep the sail spread out.

Then prey in abundance will be divided.

Spoil in abundance will be divided.

Even the lame will fall to plundering.

No inhabitant will say.

‘I am sick.’

The people who live there

Will be forgiven their iniquity.”

Isaiah remarks that despite the fact that the ship is not in good shape since the riggings are loose, the mast is not firm, and the sail is not spread out, you will not have to worry. There will be enough prey to be divided up. There will be so much spoil that even the lame will be able to plunder the area. No one will be sick in this utopian time. In fact, all their iniquity will be forgiven so that they do not have to be anxious or troubled.

Ship’s wooden idols and providence (Wis 14:1-14:5)

“Again,

One preparing to sail,

About to voyage over raging waves,

Calls upon a piece of wood

More fragile than the ship that carries him.

It was desire for gain

That planned that vessel.

Wisdom was the artisan who built it.

But it is your providence,

O Father!

That steers its course.

Because you have given it a path in the sea,

A safe way through the waves.

You show that you can save it from every danger.

Thus even a person who lacks skill

May put to sea.

It is your will

That works of your wisdom

Should not be without effect.

Therefore people trust their lives

Even to the smallest piece of wood.

They pass through the billows

On a raft

So that they come safely to land.”

Apparently there was a custom to put a wooden idol on the front or the prow of the ship to protect them. Even today we see some sort of decoration on the front of ships. Obviously, this decorative idol was less firm than the whole ship. However, this author points out that it was the wisdom (σοφίᾳ) of the carpenter and the desire for gain that built the ships. God was the providence (πρόνοια) and father (πάτερ) of all who steered their course through the waves of the sea. Once again, this is a Greek philosophical and biblical concept about providence guiding the world. Thus even those who lacked skill were still protected by divine wisdom (τῆς σοφίας). People put trust in the tiniest piece of wood to guide them through rough patches on the sea.

The righteous actions (Ps 112:7-112:9)

Mem   

“They are not afraid of evil news.

Nun    

Their hearts are firm and secure in Yahweh.

Samek

Their hearts are steady.

They will not be afraid.

Ain     

In the end,

They will look to triumph over their foes.

Phe     

They have distributed freely.

They have given to the poor.

Cade   

Their righteousness endures forever.

Qoph  

Their horn is exalted in honor.”

The righteous are not afraid of bad news. Their hearts are firm and secure in Yahweh so that they are not afraid. In the end they will triumph over their foes. They distribute to the poor so that their righteousness endures forever. They will have the horn of plenty as their honor just like a plentiful harvest.

The steadfast love of Yahweh (Ps 89:1-89:2)

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite

“I will sing of your steadfast love forever!

Yahweh!

With my mouth,

I will proclaim your faithfulness

To all generations.

I declare that

Your steadfast love was established forever.

Your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.”

Psalm 89 is a long psalm proclaiming the faithfulness of God. This psalm is not from David, but rather from Ethan the Ezrahite. Ethan was one of the 4 wise sons of Mahol mentioned in 1 Kings, chapter 4, who was not quite as wise as Solomon. This long psalm begins with the psalmist singing about the steadfast love of Yahweh. This wise psalmist will proclaim the faithfulness of Yahweh for all generations to hear. Yahweh’s love lasts forever. His everlasting faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.